All Things Writing is a blog geared for writers, and we enjoy chatting with other writers about the process. Today we visit with Jenelle Jack Pierre. I really loved her short story Someone Else, Somewhere Else and was so jealous of the way she was able to make the prose just flow! It's an honor to have her interview for us!
Mary Ann: I notice you have a MA from the writing program at John Hopkins University. Tell us a little more about your writing background.
I studied Communications as an undergrad and wrote two YA novels during that time. In graduate school, I began writing short stories, including Someone Else, Somewhere Else.
Short stories versus the novel? I know you've written before so which do you prefer?
I think they’re both interesting genres. I won’t say I prefer one over the other. A novel is for when you want to dive into another world you’re creating and you have time to do this because of length. When I’m writing a short story, I have to add depth to the narrative faster because of the shorter length.
Someone Else, Somewhere Else is full of such rich prose, and you really bring your characters to life. Was this story based on true events?
The only true aspect is that one of my friends had a mean stepmother. The setting, characters, situation, etc are all make-believe.
I like the way you handle Henry and his deception about the rabbit. Many times authors will go overboard trying to be subtle about that kind of character development and it ends up not being subtle at all! With that in mind, how much time you spend in the editing process for short stories?
Short stories can take a lot of time to edit. I edited this story at least four times. Editing a short story can take awhile because I want to build a believable world and show the characters grow in some significant way.
Are you solely a YA writer or do you work in other genres as well?
I write YA and contemporary short stories.
Tell us about your next project and the book we are giving away today!
Thanks for asking, my next project is called “Love’s Onlookers.” It’s a collection of short stories. Someone Else, Somewhere Else will be included. Three of the stories will have a young protagonist.
Someone Else, Somewhere Else is available to your readers, who can currently download it for free at eretailers, including Amazon. One winner will get a copy of my YA novel, “Before I Breathe.”
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I really enjoyed your story and look forward to reading more of your work!
Here's my review of the short story, Someone Else, Somewhere Else.
First of all, I love that this author, Jenelle Jack Pierre, is marketing her short story! It's just another example of how authors need to think outside the box when it comes to selling and promoting their work. And this is a tale worth promoting!
Someone Else, Somewhere Else is told from the pov of twin girls who talk about their experience living next door to a family with a less than idyllic home life. The twin's mother recently remarried a man that everyone likes and who strives to take care of his new family. The people next door also have a blended family, but unfortunately, the stepmother tends to favor her own kids over her stepdaughter, Ariya. It's a distinction that everyone seems to notice, but no one wants to bring up. Of course, things change when Ariya takes a stand and pays the consequences for her actions.
It's hard not to give away the whole story since it is so short, but I will say that Pierre manages to present a slice of life. Set on an island that feels very small town and homey, her characters are believable and easy to relate to. I'd venture to say that we've all seen a girl like Ariya at some point in our lives. I think the tension between the stepmother and Ariya was just right, leaving the reader feeling their emotions, but not going overboard with it so that it turned into a cliché. I was a bit confused as to when they story was taking place. At times it felt like it was set in the past, but the Xbox references made it feel more current. There is also a moment where the daughter is hanging laundry on the clothes line and I couldn't help but think, "Okay, you can afford the Xbox, but not a cheap indoor washer and dryer?" Then again, I guess that shows where my priorities are when it comes to the laundry!
All in all, this was a fast paced read with great characters. Check it out by clicking on the link and register for the giveway of Before I Breathe!
Amazon: Someone Else, Somewhere Elsea Rafflecopter giveaway